The Masters Tournament is almost here. You won't see Tiger Woods, but you’ll still see many great players throughout the weekend. In fact, what brings the great players to the same course is also why certain field service business succeed.
Golf is a long game. Jack Nicklaus once explained that the pros were, “able to stay cool, to remain in command of their emotions at all times, to play one shot at a time without getting wildly excited or deeply depressed about its outcome.” Whether 9 or 18 holes, it’s a game decided over hours of play, not one or two shots.
Jack Nicklaus taking one shot, but golf is the long game
Your field service business is a long game too. Your business is built on quality work for your customers over months or years. Are there days when you fall short? Sure, but then again, even Tiger Woods has had some terrible shots.
Great businesses do enjoy more success than failures, but it’s not the amount of success that differentiates them. It’s how they deal with it. Good or bad, they focus on what they can do now, not what they’ve done. To stay strong in business, you have to take the long view. Otherwise the daily details will bog you down.
The best golfers don’t just have a plan for what they will do, but commit to achieving it. In one day, the average tour pro spends 3-4 hours on their swing alone. This practice reveals a commitment to excellence in every aspect. From alignment to swing position, great golfers work on strengthening their entire game, and bring their best. Commitment to greatness isn’t just about playing well: better golf brings in bigger endorsements, and will pay in the long run.
Great field service businesses share a commitment to training. You know the years of training and learning your technicians went through to be able to provide great service today. It takes commitment and follow through to learn and improve on past experience and continue in that profession. Businesses don’t have the opportunity for years of training. Instead, successful field service businesses commit to improving their business every day.
Like on the job training, these businesses learn through doing. Through the day to day operations, the best field service businesses strive to understand their weaknesses and find solutions. In the long run, this self-awareness helps businesses grow, and provide the highest quality service at a lower cost.
Willingness to Learn
Tiger Woods may be one of the best golfers of his generation, but he still struggled with his greenside shots. Like all professional athletes, Tiger had strengths and weaknesses. Instead of ignoring it, he studied the greenside shots of other golfers, taking the best from each to create his own successful short game. His willingness to learn from others success set him apart from his competitors. Their examples helped him to quickly understand what would and wouldn’t work.
The same willingness to learn helps businesses grow as well. Just as Tiger studied other pro golfers, great businesses study their competitors. What is your competition doing well? Have they made recent boasts about customer service? Perhaps they’re efficient in dispatching their technicians to various remote jobs. Learn from their successes and you will find the tools to succeed. Only by staying open and willing can you continue to have a strong business.
No two golfers or businesses are alike. Each bring their own unique strengths, weaknesses and experiences to the table. Still, the greats commit to excellence, whether it's in pest control or professional golf. And by investing in themselves, they reach their goals.
What other lessons can field service businesses learn from great golfers? Let me know in the comments!